Inevitable City

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Depiction of the Inevitable City from the Liber Malefic[1][5]
The City was built of dark madness, and it stretched across the land to fill me with dread, for the path I trod would bring me to its portal. The City stones had been quarried from the night and in all their details and dressings they celebrated wickedness. No rain could wash the dust of evil from that place and no wind could drive out its corrupt air. Insanity had served as architect, engineer and master to the City's masons, and had guided all their levels and plumblines.

~ Marius Hollseher, the Liber Malefic.[1]

The Inevitable City is a city both within the Chaos Wastes[2c] and part of the Realm of Chaos[4] beyond.[2a]

Overview

Sitting at the center of a network of meandering roads somewhere in the far north of the Warhammer World, the Inevitable City serves as both city and monument to the will of the Ruinous Powers.[2c][6] As part of the Aethyr, merely attempting to determine its definitive location is enough to challenge an individual’s sanity.[6]

Constructed by the insane from bricks of madness, the ageless edifice has been and will be destroyed many times, always rebuilding itself so long as a single stone remains. Should that block be somehow placed in the mortal realm a new city will soon arise.[4] It is surrounded by looming walls and towers, its gates appearing like gaping maws. A brooding evil suffuses the City, defying the wind to drive it out, and its surfaces are covered in a black dust that cannot be brushed or washed away.[1][2c][3b]

Twisted, reason-defying streets wind between its unwholesome halls, the City’s mazes and illusions as likely to pull travelers deeper inside as return them to the place they started, irrespective of routes taken.[2c][6] A great number of beings reside within the walls, yet it is somehow impossibly lonely. Disembodied souls of those who stumbled inside eternally wander, some pleading and begging to be led out, other accursed offering escape but only leading the foolish further from it. Daemons and Mutants of all four of the Great Powers stalk the streets, sometimes attacking the lost but always taunting and tormenting. It remains unknown whether the City is neutral ground for them, exempt from the Great Game like the Court of Covenant[3a] or, despite their mocking, the monster are just as trapped here as their victims.[2c]

Access

Without a fixed location it is impossible to guarantee any specific method of reaching the Inevitable City. Arriving wherever it happens to be can take place physically or spiritually, and may even occur while an individual sleeps or meditates deeply. The Chaos Wastes can realize a person’s dreams and nightmares, so specifically seeking out the City there provides the greatest chance to intentionally reach it.[2b] It is also possible to be physically taken there by one of the long, lonely, cursed and forgotten roads it sits at the intersection of. These crisscross the Wastes and act as lures for the unwary, inevitably leading to the City no matter which direction is traveled. These roads are rumored to wind deep into the Empire and beyond, leaving no trip truly safe.[2c] Warbands of brutal raiders know this and have baited vengeful pursuers onwards to their doom.[6]

Regardless of method employed, approaching the City is akin to entering a dream of mists, clouds, and darkness.[2b] On the slate-grey horizon will loom the jagged wound of the Inevitable City. Seeming remarkably close in one moment, incredibly distant the next, it is impossible to judge the distance till arrival.[2c] Often its presence is heralded by the appearance of one or more duplicates of the traveler, sullenly marching forwards, their individual movements marking them out as different beings from their likeness. Whether they are illusions, visions of the past or future, or a form of Doppelganger is unknown and unknowable, as though who they represent is unmistakable, it is impossible to catch up to or slow them, and if followed, they will dejectedly enter the City’s gates.[2c]

Escape

As a symbolic representation of all that is lost and for the hopeless, downward spiral of the lure of Chaos, simply visiting the City can have profound and lasting effects. A person who has spent time on its confounding streets may fall into confused stupors, finding it extremely difficult to navigate even once-familiar environments without feeling completely lost. Rooms and hallways become mazes, leading the traveler to wander in circles, and though guidance from another can get him from Point A to Point B, he will believe they must surely be going the wrong direction.[2c]

Difficult as it is to reach, the Inevitable City is far harder to escape. Turning away from the buildings on the horizon merely leads a traveler back to the same place, no matter how the path twists or turns.[1][3b] For many this is their fate, the City their only destination.[2c] By setting aside reason, however, it is possible for some to find a way out. Counterintuitively, marching towards the fateful gate with a resolve to reach it leads the City to draw no closer and eventually to be lost from sight.[1][2c][3b] Thus it is said that the Inevitable City “lies ever distant from those who seek to reach it, and shadows every step taken by those who wish to escape it.[4]

Accounts

Further information: Liber Malefic

What is known about the Inevitable City, as much as anything of Chaos can be known, comes mostly from descriptions in the Liber Malefic. Skeptics accuse its author, Marius Hollseher, of exaggeration, arguing its text is little more than allegory and hyperbole. However, the introduction, while insisting he visited the City only through dreams and visions, pointedly explains that what is inside is exactly what he witnessed.[2a][2c]

Warhammer Online

The Inevitable City and the Maw from WAR[8]

Serving as the capital city of both the Raven Host and the Destruction faction as a whole, the Inevitable City of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning’s setting is hosts key characters, such as Malekith, leader of the Dark Elves, Greenskin leaders Grumlock and Gazbag, and Chaos characters like Tchar'zanek, Engra Deathsword, and in the dungeons beneath, Barakus the Godslayer.[7b] It is a strange, uncanny place of warped reality and Tzeentch-ian magic, protected by ever-present Watchers and the mighty fortress of the Maw.[7a]

Some important points of interest there include the:

  • Eternal Citadel - Tchar'zanek's palace[7b]
  • Lyceum - a library of forbidden lore[7b]
  • Sacellum - an enormous arena and dungeon[7b]
  • Apex - a form of market square[7b]

Related Pages

Sources

Uncited

Both of these books feature the Inevitable City in the Warhammer Online timeline: